Utilities Knew: Documenting Electric Utilities’ Early Knowledge and Ongoing Deception on Climate Change From 1968-2017

Despite early knowledge about climate change, electric utilities have continued to invest heavily in fossil fuel power generation over the past half a century, and since 1988 some have engaged in ongoing efforts to sow doubt about climate science and block legal limits on carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.
The Energy and Policy Institute’s new report provides a first look into the electric utility industry’s nearly 50-year long relationship with climate science, based largely on original research that reviewed scores of industry documents:

New Executive Order Threatens US Progress on Climate Action

Given his appointment of Scott Pruitt as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – a man with a long history of challenging health-based environmental regulations in court – President Trump’s Energy Independence Executive Order, released today, is not unexpected.

Cloaked in a patriotic narrative, President Trump’s executive order does more to threaten our nation’s energy independence than support it. Renewable energy has a critical role to play in strengthening our country’s energy independence, yet this executive order is aimed at weakening our ability to incorporate more clean energy resources into our national energy portfolio.

It also doubles down on the false claim that the coal industry can be saved by dialing back public health regulations. In truth, coal is being beaten in the free market by cheaper natural gas and cheap renewable energy.

Today’s executive order – coupled with the President’s recently proposed large budget cuts to the EPA and Department of Energy (DOE) clean energy, smart grid and storage technology research programs – makes it clear that this Administration is not serious about protecting our health, our climate or our national security.

Solar for Low-income Communities and More! EPA’s Clean Energy Incentive Program

Southeastern states may soon have an added incentive for developing energy efficiency and renewable energy resources that directly benefit low-income communities and utility customers. These potential new incentives come in the form of draft federal regulatory language, which the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is working to finalize as part of the entire rulemaking process for the Clean Power Plan (CPP).

This program, known as the Clean Energy Incentive Program (CEIP), is an early-action, voluntary piece of the larger CPP aimed at ensuring communities who suffered the negative effects of fossil-fuel energy generation and economically disadvantaged communities see real benefits from increased clean energy development. Although utilities, state agencies, industry, and the general public have all weighed in on pieces of the CEIP in previous CPP related comment period, the current EPA document open for comment will become the official design details for the CEIP. Comments can be sent directly to EPA (info on how to do that here) and are due by 11:59pm, Monday, August 29th.

Another hurdle for “dormant” Plant Washington

Katherine Helms Cummings leads the fight to stop Plant Washington from her home in Washington County, Georgia. She is Executive Director of the Fall-Line Alliance for a Clean Environment (FACE) and writes the Rural and Progressive blog where this article first appeared. The Carbon Pollution Standards for new power plants announced by the Environmental Protection [...]

See How Climate Change Impacts Your State

SACE just released updated, state-specific fact sheets detailing the impacts that climate change is having on six Southeast states. The new fact sheets are available for Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and Alabama, in PDF format and webpages. Check out the new fact sheets here! Recurring themes throughout all the states include the incidence [...]

2013 Año Record en Niveles de Impacto de Gases de Efecto Invernadero sobre la Atmosfera y los Océanos

La Organización Meteorológica Mundial (OMM) acaba de hacer público su “Boletín sobre Gases de Efecto Invernadero.” Según el Boletín, la concentración de dióxido de carbono, el principal culpable del calentamiento global, se elevó a 396 partes por millón el año pasado. Este incremento supuso un alza de 2,9 partes por millón entre 2012 y 2013, [...]

2013 Sets Record in Atmospheric CO2, Makes Biggest Leap Since 1980s

The results are in and they are sobering: last year was the largest annual leap in greenhouse gas concentrations (from 2012 to 2013) that we’ve seen since the 1980s, and continued the annual trend of setting a new record each year for the highest greenhouse gas concentration in the atmosphere than ever before in human [...]

Wind and solar power ready to help states meet EPA rule

This guest post, written by Tom Kiernan and Rhone Resch, was originally published on June 18 in The Hill and can be viewed here. Kiernan is CEO of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA); Resch is president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). With the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently issuing its first-ever [...]

EPA carbon rule good for business … and for people

This post – written by John Noel, President of Southern Alliance for Clean Energy’s board of directors – originally appeared in the Tennessean on June 25 and can be viewed here. The recent Environmental Protection Agency rule to reduce carbon dioxide pollution will be good for business. CO2 is the main driver of climate change, but [...]

What the Clean Power Plan Means for the Southeast

On Wednesday, June 18, the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan was published in the Federal Register, officially starting the 120-day comment period.  Released on June 2, the Clean Power Plan is EPA’s first regulation aimed at reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from existing coal-fired power plants.  In previous SACE blogs, we’ve provided a [...]